With proposals for changes to the law on the promotion of investments, DPS asked for the creation of a special mechanism for checking foreign direct investments to avoid the risk of Russian capital entering sectors related to national security.
The party leader Mustafa Karadayi and MP Delyan Peevski (US-sanctioned for corruption under the “Magnitsky” Act) were the first to sign the amendments. The two were not present at the presentation of the bill to the media, but their colleague Stanislav Anastasov explicitly noted that the team that prepared the texts was led by them.
Anastasov announced that the purpose of the changes is to synchronize the legislation with a European Union regulation from 2019, which at the European Union level requires screening of foreign direct investments in order to protect strategic sectors. The project envisages the creation of an interdepartmental council under the Minister of Innovation and Growth, which will check and give permission for all direct investments worth more than 1 million euros. The council should submit a report on the inspections every six months to the parliamentary budget and finance committee.
Malicious Russian investments with corrosive capitals
“The project is particularly important as trends for a global increase in malicious (mainly Russian) corrosive capitals are intensifying, especially in the context of the unprovoked Russian military invasion of Ukraine, with importers counting on key national security sectors to be protected through defense and public order”, it is written in the reasons for the DPS bill.
Stanislav Atanasov specified that among the objects of investment, inspections would be the energy, transport, healthcare, water, communications, media, data processing, defense, etc. sectors. “If a Russian company that tries to acquire an enterprise in Bulgaria or to create an enterprise in the field of defense, or through another European Union member country, where the control is not sufficient, tries to do it in Bulgaria, the relevant council will consider the information, it will collect the data, if there is evidence that it harms national security and public order, it will ban it. If there are minor violations, it can issue prescriptions, including to change ownership and management.”
The Movement for Rights and Freedoms (DPS) announced that the new proposals are a continuation of changes in the law on Bulgarian citizenship, which were adopted in 2022. With them, the possibility of obtaining citizenship against investments, or the so-called “golden passports”, was abolished.
This is Delyan Peevski’s first bill in the new National Assembly, which has been working for two months. DPS has already announced that he is the leading figure in the party’s team, which is preparing changes to the Constitution aimed at judicial reform.
In June 2021, the administration of US President Joe Biden imposed sanctions on three Bulgarians, including Delyan Peevski, for their involvement in corruption in Bulgaria. In accordance with the global Magnitsky Act, all their assets and property in the US were blocked, US citizens are prohibited from transacting with them and from providing them with any funds, goods or services. In February of this year, Great Britain also imposed the same sanctions on Peevski under its law, which is equivalent to the “Magnitsky Act”.